MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s among the toughest training anyone can endure in law enforcement — the Special Response Team (SRT) basic course, more commonly known as SWAT.
On Friday, Miami-Dade Police Officer Lourdes Hernandez made history becoming the first woman to graduate from the updated course in 20 years.
“It feels amazing. It’s been a three-year journey, a huge accomplishment for me,” said Hernandez. “Physically and mentally it is a very tough school. I wanted to put myself through that and gain the tactics and everything there is.”
Getting there wasn’t easy but Hernandez says she never thought of quitting. Among the most challenging part of the course, she says, is a timed event where you have to carry a 40 lb. bag up to 8 miles.
“I’ve been training for this for a year and a half. They’re not gonna take it away from me in one day or one hour or one moment.”
Hernandez still has to decide whether she wants to apply to become a member of the SRT at the Miami-Dade Police Department. But to her, anything is possible.
“It means the doors are open that anyone can succeed,” noted Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.
Hernandez’s parents never doubted her determination.
“She’s been like this from day one. It’s doesn’t surprise me,” said Olivia Hernandez, her mother.
Her father, Joaquin Hernandez, says his daughter inspires him.
“One day she came to my home and told me she had just done sky diving. I’m proud of her.”